Depending on what you’re watching and your budget, a 1080p (“Full HD”) projector is still a great buy, as many shows and movies aren’t streamed at a super high bitrate at 4K anyway. That said, many modern projectors offer 4K resolution, the main advantage being that content’s higher dynamic range (better, brighter colors).
If you want to search for projectors yourself, we recommend sticking to brands like Sony, LG, Optoma, BenQ and Epson† Be sure to read a projector before buying, and avoid generic brands of electronics.
Ideally, your projector will project images onto a screen (usually made of polyvinyl chloride or some kind of fabric), just like a movie theater. Strictly speaking you don’t need a screen – you can project onto any surface – but screens really improve the viewing experience. These screens vary in size and quality, but are designed to provide the flattest, most cinematic image you can get. If you’ve used white walls, a screen will make a noticeable difference.
A good place to start is a 100 or 120 inch screen (measured diagonally), depending on the size of your room and your ability to mount the projector far enough away. Screens usually come in three variants: rollable, wall-mounted or free-standing. I recommend one wall mounted screen for all cases where you don’t need to hide a screen between uses. They are typical lightweight and easy to assembleand they hold tension better because they are secured on four sides.
Outdoor screens with legs are great for occasional movie nights, but it’s annoying to have the legs in the way when you’re inside. Roll-down screens like the ones you probably had in school are a good option if you refuse to see your screen between viewing sessions, but make sure you get a high-quality screen that won’t warp over time. We’ve got recommendations for indoor and outdoor use in our guide to the best projectors.
There are many professional projector mounting systems out there, and most of them work very well, but be sure to check your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to make sure you’re getting a mount that fits. suitable for the right weight and has the right type of screws supplied for the screw thread on the bottom of your projector. You can find decent mounts at Amazon† walmartor any other online store that sells projectors, but I recommend starting on the manufacturer’s website and seeing what they recommend.
They’re not as universal as VESA mounts for TVs and computer monitors, but these are pretty much plug-and-play solutions:here is the one i use ($20) on my ceiling. It came with multiple types of screws and adjustable brackets for easy mounting of different projectors. It’s pretty easy to determine which mounts are compatible with which projectors with a quick Google or YouTube search. Also make sure you know the projection distance of your projector and the size of the screen you want to fill (both are listed on the spec sheet), and make sure you can mount the projector at that distance.
Once you’ve chosen your projector, you’ll want to decide how you want to get audio and video to and from the projector. Some projectors have built-in smart TV interfaces, making it easy to instantly stream your favorite shows and movies, but some require a streaming device. U.S Best streaming sticks guide has several recommendations; all you need to do is plug them into your projector (and a power outlet).